Wednesday, February 13, 2013

hearing my daddy's voice

today i received a phone call...
hello princess.
i heard on the line
a smile immediately formed
Rocky had been calling me that since my high school days
you know, when that homecoming stuff was around
but he has known me for much longer than that
a friend of my family's, father of my dear friend, religious guide, a friend to my father
he even wrote a college recommendation letter for me
he was there with my family and I in the hospital lobby sitting in one of those stiff chairs on one of those long final evenings
he knows me and he cares about me

today he called as he has a few times in these past long months since daddy has passed
just to let me know he was thinking about me and wondering how i was doing
today when he called my initial thoughts were
oh, so kind of him to call, i am doing ok though
he asked me how i was doing and then just let me talk
i proceeded to tell him that we were about to leave for the cemetery where we would be purchasing a flower vase for daddy's gravesite as a gift for mom's birthday
it has been difficult for her to think about selecting daddy's grave marker
but she had mentioned how nice it would be to place flowers there

i then told him about the gift my mother had given me of traveling to Minnesota to meet two talented, gold hearted online friends for the first time and attending their crafting retreat {of which i will share more about soon}
i told him what i had learned there and how grateful i was to have shared so much of the realities of my life and faith with them
...and then it hit me so forcefully
i immediately began to cry nearly uncontrollably
and through the sobs i thanked him for calling, i thanked him so much
i realized at that moment as i was listening to the words that were emerging from my mouth, how grateful i was for his phone call
how much i needed it
for i was telling him all of the things that i would have talked to my daddy about
having the kind of conversation i have missed so much
one of those phone calls i would get from him on a regular basis as he made his long commute home or just sitting next to him on the sofa and him truly wanting to know what was going on in my life
Rocky ended with telling me how proud of me he was
and i felt as if i was hearing my father's voice through his words
it was such a sweet moment
an absolute mercy from a loving Father in Heaven

i have been the recipient of such fatherlike love on multiple occasions over the past while from men who have grown up, worked, served, and laughed alongside my father for many, many years
a fatherly conversation of counsel and concern with Mike and I regarding our marriage, our family, and Mike's health from a man who knows my father better than most, his counselor as daddy served as president over our church stake {the term used for a large geographical grouping of individual church community congregations called wards}
he communicated three words that i believe daddy would have wanted me to remember:
brightness of hope
a wrap-around hug and invitation by my daddy's dear friend and other counselor Stan to come sit with him and his wife Mary as i sat alone in the back of the church my father used to preside over
my uncle Mark rambunctiously sword fighting with my boys and their cousins in the living room at Christmas time
my uncle Brent trying to win over the affections of my baby girl who misses her Papa
my father in law taking Owen on a walk and serving the boys up special 'grandpa style' ice cream
a greeting by another of my daddy's dear friends and golf buddy Lyle at church with a hug and a 'how are you doing lady?' as i melt into his shoulder with tears
all these men
these sweet, loving, strong men
some of them whom have known me since i was a little girl,
communicating the voice of my daddy to me
his love and his pride in who i have become
their actions and words letting me know that my daddy has not left me here alone
he has provided me with earthly men to serve as examples of his fatherly love to me and to my children
and as badly as i long to feel his enveloping hug and soft, secure embrace
i am so grateful for them
i feel joy in my heart to have been blessed with such examples of pure love
the pure love my daddy has for me
and who was always reminiscent of the perfect love my Heavenly Father has for me, his daughter

how have you felt the love of your loved one who has passed on?

{to read more about my daddy and his valiant fight with cancer read here}


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